Facts about NYC construction unions

  • Black unionized construction workers in NYC make $5.74 less per hour on average than white unionized workers.
  • Multiple NYC construction unions are currently facing allegations of discrimination.
  • NYC construction union leadership is overwhelmingly male and white.
  • Construction is one of the least-diverse unionized sectors of the NYC economy. *

Allegations & Settlements

New York Construction unions have a history of allegations and settlements of racial discrimination.

When the NYC Human Rights Commission investigated discrimination in NYC construction unions, multiple construction unions were under orders from the federal government to increase their minority membership or had only recently complied with such orders.

Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association has made numerous settlements with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The most recent settled allegations specified that Black and Hispanic workers received fewer hours of work than white workers between 1991 and 2006. The EEOC expects damages to total nearly $13 million over the life of the settlement.

According to NYC construction unions’ most recent annual filings with the U.S. Department of Labor, three local unions and the New York City District Council of Carpenters are facing allegations of violating federal, state, or city anti-discrimination laws.

NYC Construction Bosses: Male, Pale and Stale

Construction union leadership in New York remains overwhelmingly male and white

Heat and Frost Insulators Local Union #12
Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Local Union #7
Teamsters Local Union #282
Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #28
Steamfitters Local Union #638
Plumbers Local Union #1
Painters District Council #9
Cement Masons Local Union #780
Elevator Constructors Local Union #1
New York City District Council Of Carpenters

We Need Answers: Take Action

Contact New York officials and ask them these questions about our construction unions

  1. What percentage of higher-paid journeymen are non-white?
  2. How long does the average black union member spend in an apprenticeship compared to the average white union member?
  3. Why isn't there more diversity in the leadership of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York?